By Nasibu Mahinya
Minister for Information, Sports, Culture and Artists, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, meets with art and craft stakeholders to discuss challenges and solutions facing the industry at National Museum, in Dar es Salaam today.
Tanzania Federation of Crafts & Arts (TAFCA) in association with DataVision presented to Minister Mwakyembe, a report which include challenges and the way foward for Tanzania Arts and Craft Identification Project (TACIP).
TACIP, which presented by DataVision's Associate Consulatant for Information and Communication Technology, Dr. Shabani Kiwanga said that one of the big challenges fcaing artists in the country include the exploitation of artists by middle men who are benefiting from artist’s works.
Kiwanga named other challenges facing the art and craft industry as lack of intellectual property Tanzania Federation of Crafts & Arts (TAFCA), markets for the art pieces and hardships in getting capital loans.
Dr. Shabani Kiwanga then later presented to the audience with the solutions to the challenges.
"So as to solve some of the challenges that are facing artists, we have to establish a database network system of artists and their works which will help artists being recognised world wide," he said.
He added: "The network will assits artists to be recognised on an e-commerce system to access unlimited markets in the cyber world. Artists will exhibit their products online and sell online to customers from every corner of the world while eliminating the middlemen."
Minister Mwakyembe was pleased with with the fact art and craft artists came up with solutions to the challenges.
Minister for Information, Sports, Culture and Artists, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe
He gave a scenario about intellectual property rights, "a 'Tingatinga' paiting was bought from a Tanzanian painter for Tshs. 7,000 and then sold in Kenya for Tshs. 45 million and ended up getting auctioned in Netherlands for Tshs. 150 million."
The minister emphasized artists to register to copyright societies for protection of their works.
Dr. Mwakyembe made it clear he wants to solve the challenges of artists' access to capital loans and set up art proper and feasible policies but he called for everyone's commitment.
"I refrain from speaking too much today, i want from Tanzania Federation of Crafts and Arts to National Arts Council to arrange a meeting on the first week of December to make assessment of today's discussed issues.
Legendary painter Raza Mohamed called for the government to set art exhibition areas for art and crafters to show their work.
General secretary, National Arts Council, Godfrey Mngereza
Fashion Designer, Martin Kadinda
Fashion stylist, Mustafa Hassanali